PITTSBURGH, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Golf superstar Arnold Palmer died Sunday, the U.S. Golf Association said. The legendary player and TV star was 87.
"We loved him with a mythic American joy," Palmer biographer James Dodson told Golf Week. "He represented everything that is great about golf. The friendship, the fellowship, the laughter, the impossibility of golf, the sudden rapture moment that brings you back, a moment that you never forget, that's Arnold Palmer in spades. He's the defining figure in golf."
Arnold Palmer has passed away at 87 years old. Rest in peace, Arnie. You are forever a legend in golf and in life.— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) September 26, 2016
Palmer was a pioneer in bringing golf to the masses and in being the first golfer that people thought was cool.
"I used to hear cheers go up from the crowd around Palmer," Lee Trevino said. "And I never knew whether he'd made a birdie or just hitched up his pants."
Palmer hit the ceremonial first tee shot at The Masters for years, but announced in March he would no longer do so and was clearly frail at his annual PGA tournament at his Bay Hill Club & Lodge near Orlando, Fla.